UniForce™ hydraulic down-pressure system
- Reduce/eliminate hairpinning
- Get consistent depth!
- Better use of frame weight (& less frame stress)
- Less sidewall compaction
- Avoid misplaced seeds from sidewall blowout (gauge whls riding up)
- Greater upstroke/downstroke on openers than OEM
- Perfectly uniform pressure on all openers
Call to order 785-820-8000
The Trouble With OEM Springs
The big coil spring on JD 50/60/90/Pro-series drill openers is a major downfall of that design. If the spring relaxes when the opener goes into the slightest depression, it loses down-pressure and fails to cut the straw & stalks (hairpinning!) and the furrow may be shallower if soil is hard.
Get your JD 50/60/90/Pro-series drill to work the way it should.
The biggest downfall of the JD 50/60/90/Pro-series drills is how down-force is applied—the rockshaft twists to compress a big coil spring on each opener. Because the spring is nearly parallel to the arm, the opener has almost no down-stroke—i.e., the spring is in the optimum position (applying the correct amount of down-force) for only about 1/4″ of its range. Had the spring been oriented differently (e.g., pushing straight down), the problem wouldn’t be nearly so bad.
So, you must have fields that are laser level for these openers to work correctly. Even 1/2” depressions give them fits. The spring starts to relax as the opener goes into these miniscule depressions, and you lose down-force—the opener loses depth, and starts hairpinning. To compensate, everyone cranks the pressure way up—so that the majority of openers have far too much pressure, just to keep those passing thru mild depressions working halfway decent. You end up with excessive sidewall compaction on most of the rows, while some aren’t even holding depth. Not to mention it takes a bunch of extra ballast on the frame. For this reason, it’s much more important to get rid of downpressure springs on these drills than it is on planters with a parallel link.
UniForce Hydraulic Down-Pressure
Our UniForce hydraulic system fixes Deere’s design debacle. Now, you can get uniform pressure on every single opener throughout its full stroke. The result is much better cutting, less hairpinning, holding depth much more accurately, and far less sidewall compaction. Another problem with springs is that they bounce: Hydraulics don’t have this problem. When developing the UniForce, we’d often leave at least one opener with the OEM spring. Watching them run side by side, it’s amazing how much the row(s) with OEM springs bounce, whereas the rows with UniForce are smooth and steady.
UniForce uses single-action cylinders along with the OEM rockshaft, which is still used to raise and lower the openers. The two hydraulic circuits may be plumbed together so that everything runs on a single tractor remote*, or they may be kept completely separate (two tractor remotes are used). *We prefer them kept separate.
Large 3/4″ header hoses* allow oil to move quickly from one end of the drill to the other, and between the front & back ranks. This keeps pressure almost perfectly constant even while going over steep terraces or through swales at high speed. Special brackets support the header hose on most air drill sections. Large 1/2″ drop hoses let oil move in & out of cylinders very rapidly. But don’t be fooled by the size of the hoses: The flow requirements are relatively low—for 48 rows, the UniForce takes only 4 – 8 GPM (for comparison, the air cart fan needs 25 – 30 GPM). (*Box drills use 1/2″ header hoses.)
UniForce™ hydraulic down-pressure system $380/row (60/90/Pro), or $405/row (50-series), plus
Base Price: box drills pulled individually $2,450
all single-rank (15″) CCS drills $4,180
other air drills or 2 box drills pulled together $7,380
Tow-between carts, add $1,262- $1,524, depending on cart size
Choose 0% financing for 24 months, or 6.5% cash rebate.
In-cab Adjustment for Hydraulic Down-Force
Want to change pressure on-the-go? For example, lightening the pressure in soft areas on each pass, or cranking it up in hard areas. Our in-cab manual control switch works great for the OEM rockshaft downforce on JD 50/60/90/Pro drills, as well as Exapta’s UniForce down-pressure system. The switch activates a motorized control valve that simply screws into the valve block in place of the knob.
In-cab adjustment for hydraulic systems: UniForce (all) $650 – 890
JD box drills & 3-section* air drills (w/o UniForce) $890
*Not available for John Deere 5-section air drills
(includes motorized control valve, wiring harnesses, switch box)
For those who farm in terraces, especially when using only a single rank of openers, Exapta offers an optional 2.5-gallon accumulator for the UniForce system (JD 50/60/90/Pro) on air drills, or a pair of 1-gallon accumulators for a pair of box drills towed together on a hitch. When hitting terraces square-on, even the largest-capacity tractors can’t supply enough oil flow to keep the pressure constant, but our accumulator improves this considerably. (If you don’t farm in terraces, you don’t need an accumulator.)
Optional Accumulator, 2.5-gallon $3,250
Optional Accumulator, pair of 1-gallon $4,400
Includes brackets, hoses, fittings
Want more pressure in tractor tracks?
Although we’re not keen on controlled-traffic for any fields that have even the mildest slope (due to erosion in the lanes), for those who use this practice we can customize your UniForce to run a sub-circuit for the openers in the tractor tracks. Depending on the setup, this would either automatically apply X additional psi beyond what you’re running on the other openers (X is a preset you choose with a manual adjustment screw), or would have a separate knob & gauge that you’d adjust. (If you don’t use controlled traffic, this setup probably doesn’t have any value to you, since there will always be scattered combine or sprayer tracks that are harder to penetrate than what the tractor just rolled across.)
See the UniForce system in action
Installing cylinders for UniForce hydraulic down-pressure system
About the UniForce hydraulic down-pressure system
“Last fall was extremely hard and dry for wheat sowing. I was able to hold the depth much better with the [UniForce] hydraulic system than I would’ve with the JD springs. We left one opener with the JD spring on it, and it was visibly jumping around [riding out] compared to the rows with hydraulics.”
“Before installing UniForce the drill openers looked like a piano board being played. Now that UniForce is installed, it is amazing to see how no opener bounce occurs. The entire drill has consistent down-pressure, giving us uniform depth. We are now obtaining what we set out to accomplish. ” [2019 update] “Since adding UniForce, I’ve been able to reduce my soybean seed population from 165,000 to 140,000, so a savings of 25,000/acre. This saves me about $8/acre.”
“Seed placement is beautiful, wet or dry, almost like a planter. In combine tracks, tractor tracks, grain cart tracks—it’s all at the same depth. All the seeds are down in the bottom of the furrow and firmed in, right where they should be, with loose soil over the top…UniForce, along with Thompson wheels, have taken a mediocre drill and turned it into a truly superior-performing seeding tool. It’s not just a slight improvement, it’s night and day. A lot of people will give a testimonial on something just because they’ve spent the money, but I am impressed. I was skeptical and dragging my feet about purchasing UniForce, but the results are stark and undeniable.”
“In hard, dry bean stubble, [the UniForce] stuck [the wheat seeds] in there better. The stands were more consistent in wheel tracks and drier areas. Overall, slightly more uniform stands, and more uniform emergence. After seeing the results on our 1895 last fall , I felt strongly enough about it to outfit our 60-ft 1890 with UniForce.” (And Mike spends his money super-carefully.)
In The News
Exapta Solutions’ new UniForce hydraulic down-force Replaces the OEM springs on each opener with hydraulic cylinders to apply uniform force to the opener throughout its range of travel, for greatly reduced hairpinning of residue and much better holding of opener depth. Read More